Weekend in Mürren – Switzerland in intense mode
Each exquisite dish requires the highest quality of ingredients, and a good recipe and presentation guarantee an unforgettable experience. So, how do you plan the perfect weekend in Switzerland? It’s simple – the base is, of course, mountains, topped with a pinch of adrenaline and local ingredients. Everything elegantly shaken, not mixed. Good weather and a glass of wine will make your success complete. And the presentation? At height, of course! In no other place but Mürren.
Mürren is a small village with only 415 inhabitants. It is different from hundreds of other Alpine settlements in one feature in particular – you won’t get there by car. However, there are reasons for such a severe solution. This logic is simple: Mürren is located on a cliff and the only narrow road that goes here is for pedestrians and cows. I will not mention its slope. The second aspect is even more trivial: Mürren is too beautiful to spoil its views and the Alpine climate with a turbulent diesel.
Here, 700m above the Lauterbrunnen valley, the only noise comes from cow bells and the sound of the wind accompanied by the murmur of a handful of tourists.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – Intense morning from a bird’s-eye view
We start the day meeting with a few weather-beaten, smiling and positively crazy people. Big backpacks, bright jackets, wind-dried foreheads. And that steadfast confidence. Hi… are we going paragliding with you today?
Everyone has already gone. We are waiting for a flash of the blue sky. The ribbon on the post flutters softly – the wind is good. Just a moment… you can see the sky! 3… 2… 1… a short run and the paraglider lifts us over the clearing, road and trees. For a while we see nothing. And then the warm air rises us above the thinned clouds.
The impressions are sensational. Underneath there’s a flat and green valley and on the right and left – two vertical walls almost at our fingertips.
A few photos, a fly over the waterfall. A turn and, there again, towards the sun. Young eagles are looking for a warm wind with us. Another turn, some dynamic turns and a smooth, calm landing on the grass. The flight takes about 20 minutes and I don’t know who is more satisfied with it – me or my pilot, Tobias.
Already on the ground we get a pendrive with photos and a film – of course, everything has been professionally organized with Swiss precision. The men perfectly manage emotions, not letting anyone panic. All the time smiling, composed and calmly explaining what is happening and what is going to happen. From getting into the paragliding harness, through taking off, to landing. In short, people who are afraid of any kind of flying inventions, will have no fear. A light peak of adrenaline and the sense of adventure fills everyone!
12:00 p.m. – Désalpe. At the cow parade
Let’s get back to earth. More precisely, we must return to Mürren, because now we are 700m below it.
Cable car tickets – check. All we need to do is wait our fair share in a line to the gates and then survive 10 minutes in the can speeding up the steel rope. Tight, loud, but you can survive. When we rode up the mountain at 8:10 there was definitely more space in the gondola.
Our timing is perfect! The moment we go out onto the main street of Mürren, Désalpe begins – a traditional parade that accompanies cattle descents from the higher parts of the mountains. You know, who would like to stand on an icy and grassless slope!? The cows first descend to villages such as Mürren, leaving delicious and clean pastures on the 2,300m slopes behind them for the wintertime. They will stay here at 1,700m for a while and in mid-October or early November they’ll get under the roofs of barns in the heart of the valley.
The parade is accompanied by, of course, the loud ringing of bells, folk costumes, cow crowns and of course the cheese market. Shepherds used to spend four or five months in the mountains with their herds. Today, separated pastures are not threatened by wolves or bears, so the festivities are just about having fun. The procession is led by a tractor – it’s a bit easier to get a milking machine to the cows now than it used to be.
1:00 p.m. – Lunch with a view for a million francs
We stayed at the charming Hotel Alpenruh, with its firmly dominant alpine style: from chairs, through the walls to the ceiling and the menu card. And since we’re talking about food – it’s lunch time. We are sitting with the whole group of bloggers on the sun-drenched terrace. We are facing the western wall of Jungfrau, the third-highest four-thousander lying above the Aletsch Glacier (more about Aletschglacier here).
Once the alpine-style pasta comes up on the horizon, the view gets overshadowed quickly. While the native Swiss food originating from its German-speaking part is not our favorite, it is the Ticino cuisine that we find exceptionally tasty. So, penne bolognese makes us smile! Yummy!
Hotel Alpenruh – how about a night in Mürren?
Run by a positive and very energetic Ferdinand T. Salverda, it is a brilliant place to stay in Mürren. The hotel is located near the cable car station, which makes it easily accessible. An elegant restaurant room serving elaborate dishes and exceptionally good breakfasts are strong arguments to stay here overnight. Add to this sauna and spacious rooms. What more could you want?! And you’d better hurry, because it’s hard to book a night here! Hotel’s website on Booking.com.
2:00 p.m. – Hiking with a view of the Jungfrau, Eiger and Monoch trio
You need to burn the calories you’ve just devoured! Therefore, under the leadership of Jana from Schilthorn, we go hiking, the choice is obvious – Mountain View Trail, where you can enjoy the best views in the area. The start… well … we start on the train that takes us to Grütschalp. But from here – only on foot, up the hill to Allmendhubel from where we will go back to Mürren.
The route is rather short and just right for an early afternoon – 6km, 550m up and about the same down. Almost all the time we are accompanied by menacing walls of Jungfrau covered with thousands of tons of ice. The weather is just perfect and the gems of the Bernese Oberland – Eiger, Monoch and the mentioned Jungfrau look truly majestic!
Another, equally pleasant hiking trail in the area is the Eiger Trail, running right below the north wall of the murderous Eiger. The views on Gridnelwald – great!
7:00 p.m. – Time for fondue!
A Swiss weekend can’t go without a classic melted cheese pot! Propagated in the 1930s by the Swiss Association of Cheese Producers as Switzerland’s national dish, fondue has become a brand in itself. It is made from at least two types of cheese (of course, the types depend on the region, but most often it’s Emmentaler or Gruyère), dry wine and a glass of kirsch (a type of high-percentage, colorless brandy made from cherry).
The social factor is an indispensable aspect of fondue – one pot, several long forks and a bowl with pieces of bread. This factor is especially evident when you add in a bottle of wine and imprudently drown bread in cheese. Penalty? Extremely strict: running naked around the table! Of course, this does not work after one bottle of wine, you need at least two!
We spend this nice and very ‘cheesy’ evening in the restaurant at the boarding house in Gimmelwald, with an extremely pleasant, rustic-alpine climate. The atmosphere in such a place with good food and even better company means that nobody counts time. Fortunately, the cable car to Mürren rides even after midnight, so we have a peaceful and easy return! Oh… it’s time to sleep!
Sunday 9:30 a.m. – Brunch with James Bond
Piz Gloria – restauracja położona na wysokości 2970 m n.p.m., na szczycie Schilthorn, wykonuje pełen obrót o 360° w 45 min. To idealny czas, by zjeść dobry brunch, zwieńczony lampką Prosecco, a przy tym rozkoszować się widokiem na ponad 200 alpejskich szczytów! Eiger, Monoch, Jungfrau to oczywiście klasyka widoków w tym regionie, jednak przy odrobinie szczęścia pod postacią dobrej widoczności dostrzec można stąd nawet Mont Blanc. Może aż takiego szczęścia dziś nie mamy, ale panorama jest godna każdego słowa pochwały.
Piz Gloria – a restaurant located at 2,970 m a.s.l. on top of Schilthorn, performs a full 360° turn in 45 minutes. It’s the perfect time to eat a good brunch, topped with a Prosecco lamp, while enjoying the view of over 200 Alpine peaks! Eiger, Monoch and Jungfrau are, of course, classic views in this region, but with a bit of luck, meaning good visibility, you can even see Mont Blanc from here. We may not be so lucky today, but the panorama is, indeed, worth every word of praise.
In addition to the panorama deck and the restaurant, an additional attraction of Schilthorn is the small but interesting museum dedicated to James Bond. It is no coincidence that Piz Gloria and the mentioned summit are promoted by the famous “007” number.
60 years ago, the restaurant was a movie set in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and the place where James Bond fought with Ernst Stavro Blofeld. George Lazenby played the legendary agent and the building pretended to be a secret laboratory, which, of course, was spectacularly blown up.
The truth is that if it had not been for this movie, the construction of the cable car would not have been finished. Only the film producer’s support and the consent for every arrangement of the structure at the peak allowed to finalize this ambitious project. Interestingly, a large part of the decor which you see in the movie has survived to this day. Fortunately, there are more seats and tables!
12:00 p.m. – A thrill at the Thrill Walk
The intermediate station between Mürren and Schilthorn is called Brig. Most tourists rushing up and down skip this cable car stop, not knowing what to expect here. We know, so we get off!
Just below Brig, there is a 100-meter footbridge suspended along a vertical wall. And, believe us, stepping on the glass with an abyss under your feet is a rather strange, unusual feeling. And if you’re not tired of emotions, then maybe you will get on all fours through the tunnel? Who dares?! Well… Joanna!
2:00 p.m. – Farewell at the waterfalls
Throwing backpacks into the car, somehow we can’t accept the fact that the weekend is almost over. The last item on the itinerary is the Trümmelbach Waterfall, one of 72 waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen valley. This one is unique, though. It consists of several cascades and waterfalls hidden between the rocks inside the mountain.
To get to each level you have to go through several tunnels and, less ambitiously, ride up a cable car a few dozen meters higher.
A stroll through the winding tunnels, footbridges and platforms in the company of the loud noise of water is truly pleasant, and various rock formations carved by the forces of nature stir the imagination.
Now we can get into the car and set “Home” in the navigation app. It was a brilliant weekend in the Alps!
- It is a village cut off from car traffic. You can get here:
- From Stechelberg – by a cable car, with intermediate station in Gimmewald. Buses from Lauterbrunnen go to Stechelberg. There is also a huge parking lot (CHF 14 for two days). A two-way ticket to Mürren costs CHF 23 – the first ride is at 5:55 a.m., the last at 0:55 a.m. More at: https://schilthorn.ch/en/
- From Lauterbrunnen, where you first take the cable car to Grütschalp and then change to the train to Mürren. The price is also CHF 23, two ways. In Lauterbrunnen there is an ugly and large multi-story car park.
- There is a grocery store and a pharmacy in Mürren.
- There are several restaurants here.
- The 12th section of the Via Alpina 1, Lauterbrunnen – Griesalp route passes through Mürren (22km, 2000m up, 1400m down).
- Hotels: Hotel Alpenruh or more in Mürren
- It is suitable for small kids and disabled
- Cabel car cost CHF 105 for a return ticket. With Halb-Tax it is 50%.
- It is wise to book a table for Sunday brunch
- 007 exhibition is free
- Check the webcam and weather
- We were flying with Airtime Paragliding.
- They provide you with a helmet and positive energy
- Flight price does not cover GoPro video – additional 30CHF.
- You are not allowed to take any selfie-sticks, smartphones etc. All needs to be connected with a rope and safe in case of harder landing. My photos were done uppon agreement before.
- There is a space for your backpack in the paragliding bag.
- It is cold up there – gloves are strongly suggested.
- Entry fee 11 CHF
- Only first part is suitable for small kids and wheelchairs
- Children who can walk by themselves will manage
- Parking is free